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An Automatic Tool Changer is equipment that reduces cycle times by

automatically changing tools between cuts. Automatic tool changers are
differentiated by tool-to-tool time and the number of tools they can hold.

CNC machines are in general, more expensive than general purpose man-
operated machine tools, special attention is given to the design of the NC
machines and production tooling in order to reduce the time spent in both
work and machine set up. Tooling systems for NC are designed to
eliminate operator error and maximize productive machine hours. CNC
tool changers allow a machine to perform more than one function without
requiring an operator to change the tooling. A CNC tool changer can
quickly change the end effectors without the requirement of multiple
robots. Tool changers can be a manual tool changers or automatic tool
changers. A CNC tool changer fulfills the requirement of multiple tooling
for a wide variety of machine tools. A CNC machine tool raises the
productivity by automatically translating designs into instructions for a
computer controller on a machine tool. The spindle axis of a CNC machine
tool fixes the chucks which is integral to the lathe’s functioning. A CNC
tool storage system is an organized, efficient, and secure method of
storing tools at all stages and time. The main component of a CNC tool
storage system is a CNC tool holder. A CNC tool holder is suitable for
vertically storing all types of preset tools.

1. Automation and requirement of Automation
Automation in production system – Automated manufacturing
Systems – Fixed Automation, Programmable Automation and
Flexible Automation – Automation Principles and strategies – USA
principle, Automation Migration Theory, Ten strategies for
automation – Reasons for Automation

2. Toolings For Numerical Control

Toolings for Numerical Control – Alternatives for Automatic tool
changing – semiautomatic tool changing – preset tooling

3. Automatic Tool Changer – An Idea

Automatic Tool Changer – What is automatic Tool Changer – Why
Automatic Tool Changer is needed – Types of Automatic tool
Changer – tool Change system with gripper Arm – Description of
gripper arm - Tool Change system with Chain Magazine – Tool
Change system with Disc Magazine

4. Project Details
Project Concept – Description of Parts – Construction of Parts –
Degrees of Freedom – Details About main Parts – Rack and Pinion
Mechanism For gripper Arm - Relay what is Relay and How it works
– Relay Specifications – How an electric motor works –
Specifications of Gear motors – Idea about circuit – Circuit Diagram
and description of Circuit Diagram

5. NC Systems
Brief introduction about NC and CNC systems and NC controllers

6. Conclusion
7. References

Automation and Requirements of


Some elements of the production systems are likely to be automated,
where as the others will be operated manually or clerically. For our
purposes here, automation can be defined as a technology concerned
with the application of mechanical, electronic and computer based
systems to operate and control production.

In modern production systems, the two categories overlap to some

extent, because the automated manufacturing systems operating on the
factory floor are themselves often implemented by computer systems and
connected to the computerized manufacturing support systems and
management information system operating at the plant and enterprise
levels. The term computer integrated manufacturing is used to indicate
this extensive use of computers in production systems.

Manufacturing Potential
Support systems computerization

Facilities: Potential
Factory Automation
Equipment applications

Opportunities of automation and computerization in production system


Automated manufacturing systems operate in the factory on the physical

product. They perform operations such as processing, assembly,
inspection, or material handling in some cases accomplishing more than
one of these operations in the same system. They are called automated
because they perform their operations with a reduced level of human
participation compared with the corresponding manual process. In some
highly automated systems, there is virtually no human participation.
Examples of automated manufacturing systems includes:

 Automated machine tools that process machine parts

 Transfer lines that perform a series of machining operations
 Automated assembly systems
 Manufacturing systems that use industrial robots to perform
processing or assembly operations
 Automatic material handling and storage systems to integrate
manufacturing operations
 Automatic inspection system for quality control

Automated manufacturing systems can be classified into three basic types

1. Fixed automation
2. Programmable automation
3. Flexible automation

All the three types of automation differ in certain specific ways as per
their characteristics. They are discussed in detail below.

1. Fixed Automation
Fixed automation is a system in which the sequence of processing
operations is fixed by the equipment configuration. Each of the operations
in the sequence is usually simple, involving perhaps a plain linear or
rotational motion or an uncomplicated combination of the two; for
example, the feeding of a rotating spindle. It is the integration and
coordination of many such operations into one piece of equipment that
makes the system complex. Typical features of fixed automation are:

 High initial investment for custom-engineered equipment

 High production rates
 Relatively inflexible in accommodation product variety

The economic justification for fixed automation is found in products that

are produced in very large quantities and at high production rates. The
high initial cost of the equipment can be spread over a very large number
of units, thus making unit cost attractive compared with alternative
methods of production. Example of fixed automation includes machining
transfer lines and automated assembly machines.

2. Programmable Automation
In programmable automation, the production equipment is designed with
the capability to change the sequence of operations to accommodate
different product configurations. The operation sequence is controlled by
a program which is a set of instructions coded so that they can be read
and interpreted by the system. New programs can be prepared and
entered in to the equipment to produce new products. Some of the
features that characterize programmable automation include:
 High investment in general purpose equipment
 Lower production rates than fixed automation
 Flexibility to deal with variations and changes in product

 Most suitable for batch production

Programmable automated systems are used in low and medium volume

production. The parts or products are typically made in batches. To
produce each new batch of a different product, the system must be
reprogrammed with the set of machine instructions that correspond to
the new product.

3. Flexible Automation
Flexible automation is an extension of programmable automation. A
flexible automation system is capable of producing a variety of parts with
virtually no time lost for changeovers from one part style to the next.
There is no lost production time while reprogramming the system and
altering the physical setup (tooling, fixture, machine settings). It is a case
of soft variety, so that the amount of changeover required between styles
is minimal. The features of flexible automation can be summarized as

 High investment for a custom engineered system

 Continuous production of variable mixture of products
 Medium production rates
 Flexibility to deal with product design variations

Examples of flexible automation are the flexible manufacturing systems

for performing machining operations that date back to the late 1960s.


There are mainly three approaches for dealing with automation projects
1. The USA principle
2. Ten strategies for automation
3. Automation migration strategy

The USA principle

The USA principle is a common sense approach to automation projects.
Similar procedures have been suggested in manufacturing and
automation trade literature, but none has a more captivating title than
this one. USA stands for:

 Understand the existing process

 Simplify the process
 Automate the process

A statement of the USA principle appeared in the APICS (American

Production and Inventory Control Society) article. The article was
concerned with implementation of enterprise resource planning but the
USA approach is so general that it is applicable to nearly any automation

1. Understand the existing process

The obvious purpose of the first step in the USA approach is to
comprehend the current process in all of its details. What are the
inputs? What are the outputs? What exactly happens to the work unit
between input and output? What is the function of the process? How
does it add value to the product? What are the upstream and
downstream operations in the production sequenced, and can they be
combined with the process under consideration?

Mathematical models of the process may also be useful to indicate
relationships between input parameters and output variables. What are
the important output variables? How are these output variables
affected by inputs to the process, such as raw material properties,
process settings, operating parameters, and environmental conditions?
This information may be valuable in identifying what output variables
need to be measured for feedback purposes and in formulating
algorithms for automatic process control.

2. Simplify the process

Once the existing process is understood, then the search can begin for
ways to simplify. This often involves a checklist of questions about the
existing process. What is the purpose of this step or this transport? Is this
step necessary? Can this step be eliminated? Is the most appropriate
technology being used in this step? How can this step be simplified? Are
there necessary steps in the process that might be eliminated without
detracting from function?

Some of the ten strategies of automation and production systems are

applicable to try to simplify the process. Can steps be integrated into a
manually operated production line?

3. Automate the process

Once the process has been reduced to its simplest form, then automation
can be considered. The possible forms of automation include those listed
in ten strategies discussed in the following section. An automation
migration strategy might be implemented for a new product that has not
yet proven itself.

Ten strategies for automation

Following the USA principle is a good first step in any automation project.
As suggested previously, it may turn out that automation of the process
is unnecessary or cannot be cost justified after it has been simplified.

If automation seems a feasible solution to improve productivity, quality or
other measure of performance, then the following strategies provide a
road map to search for these improvements. These strategies are as
relevant and appropriate today as they did in 80s. They are referred as
strategies for automation because some of them are applicable whether
the process is a candidate for automation or just for simplification.

1. Specialization of operation
The first strategy involves the use of special purpose equipment designed
to perform one operation with the greatest possible efficiency. This is
analogous to the concept of labor specialization, which is employed to
improve the labor productivity.

2. Combined operations
Production occurs as a sequence of operations. Complex parts may
require dozens, or even hundreds of processing steps. The strategy of
combined operation involves reducing the number of distinct production
machines or work stations through which the part must be routed. This is
accomplished by performing more than one operation at a given machine,
thereby reducing the number of separate machines needed. Since each
machine typically involves a setup, setup time can usually be saved as a
consequence of this strategy. Material handling effort and non operation
time are also reduced. Manufacturing lead time is reduced for better
customer service.

3. Simultaneous operations
A logical extension of the combined operations strategy is to
simultaneously perform the operations that are combined at one

4. Integration of operations
Another strategy is to link several workstations together into a single
integrated mechanism, using automated work handling devices to
transfer parts between stations.

5. Increased flexibility
This strategy attempts to achieve maximum utilization of equipment for
job shop and medium volume situations by using the same equipment for
a variety of parts or products. It involves the use of the flexible
automation concepts.

6. Improved material handling and storage

A great opportunity for reducing nonproductive time exists in the use of
automated material handling and storage systems. Typical benefits
include reduced work in progress and shorter manufacturing lead times.

7. Online inspection
Inspection for quality of work is traditionally performed after the process
is completed. This means that any poor quality product has already been
produced by the time it is inspected. Incorporating inspection into the
manufacturing process permits corrections to the process as the product
is being made.

8. Process control and optimization

This includes a wide range of control schemes intended to operate the
individual processes and associated equipment more efficiently. By this
strategy, the individual process times can be reduced and product quality

9. Plant operations control

Whereas the previous strategy was concerned with the control of the
individual manufacturing process, this strategy is concerned with control
at the plant level.

10. Computer integrated manufacturing

Taking the previous strategy one level higher, we have the integration of
factory operations with engineering design and the business functions of
the firm. CIM involves extensive use of computer applications, computer
data bases, and computer networking throughout the enterprise.

The ten strategies constitute a checklist of the possibilities for improving
the production system through automation or simplification.

They should not be considered as mutually exclusive. For most situations,

multiple strategies can be implemented in one improvement project.

Automation migration strategy

Owing to competitive marketplace, a company often needs to introduce a
new product in the shortest possible time. As mentioned previously, the
easiest and least expensive way to accomplish this objective is to design
a manual production method, using a sequence of workstations operating
independently. If the product turns out to be successful, and high future
demand is anticipated, then it makes sense for the company to automate
production. A typical automation migration strategy is the following:

Phase 1: manual production using single station manned cells operating

independently. This is used for introduction of the new
product for reasons already mentioned: quick and low cost
tooling to get started.

Phase 2: Automated production using single station automated cells

operating independently. As demand for the product grows,
and it becomes clear that automation can be justified, then
the single stations are automated to reduce labor and
increase production rate.

Phase 3: Automated integrated production using a multistation

automated system with serial operations and automated
transfer of work units between stations.


Companies undertake projects in manufacturing automation and

computer integrated manufacturing for a variety of good reasons. Some
of the reasons used to justify automation are the following:

1. To increase labor productivity

Automating a manufacturing operation usually increases production rate
and labor productivity. This means greater output per hour of labor

2. To reduce labor cost

Ever increasing labor cost has been and continuous to be the trend in the
world’s industrialized societies. Consequently, higher investment in
automation has become economically justifiable to replace manual

3. To mitigate the effects of labor shortages

There is a general shortage of labor in many advanced nations, and this
has stimulated the development of automated operations as a substitute
for labor.

4. To reduce or eliminate routine manual and clerical tasks

An argument can be put forth that there is social value in automating
operations that are routine, boring, fatiguing, and possibly irksome.

5. To improve worker safety

By automating a given operation, and transferring the worker from
active participation in the process to a supervisory role, the work is made

6. To improve product quality
Automation not only results in higher production rates than manual
operations; it also performs the manufacturing process with greater
uniformity and conformity to quality specifications.

7. To reduce manufacturing lead time

Automation helps to reduce the elapsed time between customer order
and product delivery, providing a competitive advantage to the
manufacturer for future orders.

8. To accomplish processes that cannot be done manually

Certain operations cannot be accomplished without the aid of a machine.
These processes have requirements for precision, miniaturization, or
complexity of geometry that cannot be achieved manually.

9. To avoid the high cost of not automating

There is a significant competitive advantage gained in automating a
manufacturing plant. The advantage cannot easily be demonstrated on a
company’s project authorization form. The benefits of automation often
show up in unexpected and intangible ways, such as an improved quality,
higher sales, better labor relations, and better company image.
Companies that do not automate are likely to find themselves at a
competitive disadvantage with their customers, their employees and the
general public.

Tooling for Numerical Control


Since NC machines are in general, more expensive than general purpose
man-operated machine tools, special attention is given to the design of
the NC machines and production tooling in order to reduce the time spent
in both work and machine set up.

Tooling systems for NC are designed to eliminate operator error and

maximize productive machine hours. They do this in one or more of the
following ways:

1. Using quick change tool holders

2. Automatic tool selection
3. Automatic tool Changer
4. Presetting of tool
5. Facilitating tool selection and tool changing through the numerical
control program

While tooling for NC machines might appear to be specialized, the actual

components and principles involved have much in common with what
would be considered proper practice for conventional machine tools.

1. Tool Holders
Quick change tool holders are designed so that cutting tools can be
readily positioned with respect to the spindle axis of the machine. This
requires that tolerances on length and/or diameter be held on all tools
used in the machine.

Arbor type cutters such as face mills and shell end mills are held in arbor
type tool holders. Shank type mills are held in positive lock holder. Drills,
reamers and boring tools are held in a straight shank collet type holder.
Taps are held in a tension and compression collet type holders.

2. Automatic tool selection
Automatic tool selectors in NC make all the tool changes required to
complete a predetermined sequence of machining operations on a

There are two basic approaches to automatic tool selection:

 When relatively small number of different tools is required,
automatic tool selector is the turret type. The turret is rotated
under program control to bring the proper tool into position. The
tools are held in preset tool holder adapters which are mounted into
turret spindles.

 An automatic tool changer and magazine of tools is frequently used

in preference to the turret approach, when the number of tools to
be used is large. Each tool is inserted in a common spindle as
required. The tools which are mounted in uniform holders, are
automatically picked up, placed into the spindle and locked in place.
When the operations using that tool are completed it is returned to
the tool storage magazine.

For changing tools rapidly it is better to place tool in magazine or turret in

the order in which they will be used.

3. Automatic Tool Changer

For three axis machines which perform a wide variety of operations tool
changes a programmed into the tape for fully automatic selection and

The automatic tool change system may consist of following elements:

 Rotary tool storage magazine for numerous tools.
 Automatic tool changer to remove tool holders from the
machine spindle and replace them with tape programmed

 Basic tool holders adaptable to a multiplicity of cutting tool
types and work specifications.
 Tool coding rings and system for selection of proper tools in
accordance with tape signals.

In operation, the automatic tool change is accomplished in four steps:

 By tape command (and from any location the magazine) the
tool magazine rotates to proper position to bring the pre
selected tool into place for particular operation. One end of the
tool change your arm then grasps the tool while the opposite
end grasps the tool to be replaced in the spindle.
 The tool changer arm moves out away from the spindle
removing one tool from the magazine and other tool from the

4. Preset Tooling
 In machining relatively small batches of work very considerable
savings can be made by reducing the machine down time during
the period needed for the initial machine tool setup i.e. when
preparing two machines a batch of different components. This
reduction in setup time favourabaly influences the breakeven
point towards the use of NC machine tool.
 Since the cost per minute of maintaining an NC machine in
production is much greater than the cost of a tool setter working
on a bench with special tool setting equipment there arises the
necessity for presetting the tools to be used by NC machines.

 In other word the advantage of presetting tool in the tool room on

precision tool presetting machine can readily be seen by
calculating the cost of operator mistakes and machine down time
on jobs which require continuous machine cycling. The time and
costs for any interruption for trial cuts or to adjust tooling would
be prohibitive.



An Automatic Tool Changer is equipment that reduces cycle times by
automatically changing tools between cuts. Automatic tool changers are
differentiated by tool-to-tool time and the number of tools they can hold.

CNC tool changers allow a machine to perform more than one function
without requiring an operator to change the tooling. A CNC tool changer
can quickly change the end effectors without the requirement of multiple
robots. Tool changers can be a manual tool changers or automatic tool
changers. A CNC tool changer fulfills the requirement of multiple tooling
for a wide variety of machine tools.

Why Tool Changer is needed?

Tool changer is equipment which is used in CNC machines to reduce the
cycle time.

The term applies to a wide variety of tooling, from indexable insert, single
point tools to coded, preset tool holders for use in automatic tool
changers. It includes power-actuated, cross-slide tooling and turret tool
holders for single spindle chuckers, interchangeable-block boring tools.

A number of basic types of tool holders are available that accommodate

most face mills, end mills, drills, reamers, taps, boring tools,
counterbores, countersinks, and spot facers.

Arbor type cutters such as face mills and shell end mills are held in an
arbor type tool holders. Shank type mills are held in positive lock holder.
Drills, reamers and boring tools are held in a straight shank collet type
holder. Taps are held in a tension and compression collet type holders.

There are mainly three kinds of tool changers available in market
according to the tool magazine arrangements provided.
1. Tool change system with gripper arm
2. Tool change system with chain magazine
3. Tool change system with disc magazine

1. Tool Change system with gripper Arm

In this system, there are mainly two elements
Disc with magazine
Gripper arm

In this system, a disc is provided with magazine, in which different types

of tools are loaded. It can hold maximum 32 tools.

In magazines, all the tools which are required are fixed in the magazines.
The tool which is programmed in controller according to the program will
be indexed in front of the gripper arm and then the gripper arm grips the
tool and performs the operation. After completion of the operation by
each tool, the gripper arm places the tool back in to the magazine.

Description of the gripper arm

The tool changer gripper arm consists of a central aluminum structure
with terminal tool grippers of hardened steel.

Tool gripping and release are obtained by means of a spring-operated

mechanism actuated by the rotation of the arm. The latter, in turning,
engages or disengages the grippers from the tools when these are in
exchange position.

2. Tool Change system with chain magazine

In this kind of system, a chain is provided with magazines for tool
holding. This chain can hold numerous tools so it is used in heavy
machineries. Starting from 32 it can hold more than 100 tools.

These chain is indexed in front of the head stock directly as per the tool
programmed position.

Tool Change system with chain magazine

In this kind of system there is no arrangement like gripper arm. The
chain itself is indexed and the machining is done while keeping the tool in
the chain only.

3. Tool change system with Disc magazine

In this system, the tools are held in a big disc. This disc is not similar to
the disc provided in gripper arm mechanism. In this disc, there are tool
grippers provided separately for each magazine these grippers holds the
tool and performs machining operation as well.

Tool change system with disc magazine

This system disc can hold 32 to maximum of 64 tools. These type of tool
changers are used in medium capacity machineries.

Project Details

During training, we have seen huge CNC units equipped with automatic
tool changers. From there we have got the idea to replicate the same as
our project. CNC machines are widely used in industries these days. For
saving time consumed in loading and unloading the tools, almost all the
CNC machines are equipped with automatic tool changers.


Here, we have selected the gripper arm type arrangement for our project.
We have made the model of gripper arm automatic tool changer.

Main Components
The main components of the gripper arm arrangement are:
1. Base
2. Griper arm
3. Tool holder
4. Support arm
5. Horizontal rib

Description of all the parts used and its function is discussed here. The
main parts are base, tool holder, support arm and gripper arm

1. Base:
We have provided 400x600x20 mm wooden base. This base holds the
whole arrangement as well as supports it.

2. Gripper Arm:
An aluminum strip is provided on which the gripper arm is fixed. The
gripper arm rotates 360 degree and performs the machining operation as
per our requirement.

The aluminum strip can oscillate about the support arm and gripper
arm rotates 360 degree about the pivot point and also reciprocates
due to the rack and pinion arrangement provided in the gripper arm.
So the machining operation can be performed.

The tool gripper mechanism also rotates 360 degree which is provided
at the end of gripper arm.

So mainly there are three motions

1. Tool gripper rotation 360 degree
2. Whole rack and pinion mechanism disc rotates 360
3. Gripper arm reciprocates due to rack and pinion
These motions facilitate machining operations in all directions
very easily.

4. Tool holder
Tool holder can be any disc or block type arrangement in which the
tools can be held. Here, we have provided wooden block with metal
strip at the bottom for holding the tools. We have fixed a metal strip
with the bottom strip so after putting the tool back into the tool holder,
the tool is locked. So basically it is a locking and unlocking mechanism
for all the four tools.

5. Support arm
Support arm does not perform any kind of specific function; it just
supports the whole assembly mainly, the gripper arm and the
horizontal rib. It is a mild steel hollow shaft of 150 mm diameter. It is
kept hollow so that all the wires can be passed inside the shaft.

There are mainly three motors are used all of different RPM ranging
from 15 rpm to 45 rpm. Motors used here are the simple gear motors
used for electrical purposes. These motors have the capacity to carry
load upto 4-5 kg. and then it can give torque of

The motors are called gear motors which are directly available in
market. The supply to the motors is given by 9 watts battery.
The electric motor is a standard DC electric motor.

DC Electric Motor

On the end of the motor is a small 6-tooth gear. This gear fits into the
center of the planetary gear system, as shown here:

A gear attached to the motor fits in the middle of the three smaller

This gear system is the heart of any electric screwdriver. An electric
motor by itself is a pretty weak device. You can grab the axle and stop
a small motor's rotation very easily. This means that the chuck moves
very slowly relative to the motor, but that the chuck has a great deal
of torque (it takes 56 times more strength to stop the motor from
spinning because of the gear ratio).

Parts of an electric motor

You can see that this is a small motor, about as big around as a dime.
From the outside you can see the steel can that forms the body of the
motor, an axle, a nylon end cap and two battery leads. If you hook the
battery leads of the motor up to a flashlight battery, the axle will spin.
If you reverse the leads, it will spin in the opposite direction. Here are
two other views of the same motor. (Note the two slots in the side of
the steel can in the second shot - their purpose will become more
evident in a moment.)

Nylon cap

The nylon end cap is held in place by two tabs that are part of the
steel can. By bending the tabs back, you can free the end cap and
remove it. Inside the end cap are the motor's brushes. These brushes
transfer power from the battery to the commutator as the motor spins.

Rack and pinion mechanism for gripper arm

Rack and pinion mechanism is provided for gripper arm for
reciprocating movement of gripper arm. The mechanism is fixed in a
plate kind of arrangement and in this arrangement, gripper arm is
fixed. Due to up and down motion of rack and pinion, the gripper arm
moves up and down and the whole mechanism rotates 360 degree for
performing the required task. The gripper arm used here is of screw
driver kind of arrangement. It is available readily in market with
different arrangements for different kinds of screw heads.

Main aspect of this project is its degrees of freedom. It has mainly 10
degrees of freedom.

There are mainly

1. Rotational motion of horizontal arm
2. Rotational motion of Rack and pinion disc
3. Reciprocating motion of gripper arm
4. Rotational motion of gripper
5. Reciprocating motion of tool holder lock unlock mechanism

Rotational Motion of Horizontal Arm

The horizontal arm is pivoted about the main arm and it can rotate,
clockwise as well as anticlockwise about the main arm. This motion
facilitates machining in any direction.

Rotational Motion of Rack and Pinion Disc

The rack and pinion disc is provided at the end of the horizontal arm.
It is pivoted about the upper middle side. It can rotate about the pivot
point. This motion facilitates movement of tool gripper in any direction.

Reciprocating Motion of Gripper Arm

Rack and pinion arrangement is provided for gripper arm. Gripper arm
is fixed with pinion. So reciprocating motion of the gripper arm can be
obtained and machining can be done accordingly.
Rotational Motion of Gripper
The tool gripper which is almost cylindrical in shape and provided at
the end of gripper arm for actually holding the tools can have circular
motion. This motion facilitates the tasks like fastening or loosening a


We have carried out the construction of the tool changer equipment in

following manner.

 Firstly, we have attached the main arm (which is of 65 mm

diameter) to the base. As mentioned above the base is wooden
board of 400x600x20 mm.
 On this wooden board, the hollow arm is fixed with two bolts.
The arm is kept hollow so that the wirings can be passed inside
the hollow arm. On the arm, a motor is fixed. Motor is of 20rpm
and it can carry maximum of 4kgs. load.
 After fixing the horizontal arm to the main arm, at the end of the
horizontal arm, the disc of rack and pinion arrangements is
attached. This attachment is also fixed with motor. So the whole
rack and pinion disc can rotate 360 degree.
 In the rack and pinion arrangement, a gripper arm is attached.
Gripper arm is attached so that up and down movement of the
gripper arm can be achieved by rack and pinion mechanism.
 The gripper arm used here is of screw driver kind of
arrangement. It is available readily in market with different
arrangements for different kinds of screw heads. This kind of tool
gripper arrangement is used. The all four tools are arranged in
tool holder, and the tool gripper comes down, grips the tool and
goes to the required location.
 A circuit with eight relays is used for four different tools holding
and un-holding. A relay is an electrical switch that opens and
closes under the control of another electrical circuit.
 The circuit diagram is very simple and it is explained in next

Description of the Circuit
Circuit diagram is shown in previous page. It is a very simple circuit. It
consists of transistors, Relays and motors.

The detail about relay is given in next pages. Relay is an

electromagnetic switch which is used to convert AC to DC. The motors
and all the other parts used in circuit can be run through DC supply.
So for converting AC current into DC we have used Relay.

P Total
P total is maximum total power which can be generated in a transistor.

The Specifications
All the specifications of the BC547 PNP transistor, we have used, is
described in next page.

A relay is a simple electro mechanical switch made up of an electro
magnet and a set of contacts A relay is an electrical switch that opens
and closes under the control of another electrical circuit. In the original
form, the switch is operated by an electromagnet to open or close one
or many sets of contacts. Relays are found hidden in all sorts of

Parts of a relay

A simple electromagnetic relay, such as the one taken from a car in
the first picture, is an adaptation of an electromagnet. It consists of a
coil of wire surrounding a soft iron core, an iron yoke, which provides a
low reluctance path for magnetic flux, a moveable iron armature, and
a set, or sets, of contacts; two in the relay pictured. The armature is
hinged to the yoke and mechanically linked to a moving contact or
contacts. It is held in place by a spring so that when the relay is de-
energized there is an air gap in the magnetic circuit.

When an electric current is passed through the coil, the resulting

magnetic field attracts the armature and the consequent movement of
the movable contact or contacts either makes or breaks a connection
with a fixed contact. If the set of contacts was closed when the relay
was de-energized, then the movement opens the contacts and breaks
the connection, and vice versa if the contacts were open.

If the coil is energized with DC, a diode is frequently installed across

the coil, to dissipate the energy from the collapsing magnetic field at
deactivation, which would otherwise generate a voltage spike
dangerous to circuit components. Some automotive relays already
include that diode inside the relay case.

Relays are amazingly simple devices. There are four parts in every
 Electromagnet
 Armature that can be attracted by the electromagnet
 Set of electrical contacts

Working principle of a relay

In this figure, you can see that a relay consists of two separate and
completely independent circuits. The first is at the bottom and drives
the electromagnet. In this circuit, a switch is controlling power to the
electromagnet. When the switch is on, the electromagnet is on, and it
attracts the armature (blue).

NC System – An Idea

Many of the achievements in computer-aided design and
manufacturing have a common origin in numerical control (abbreviated
as NC). The conceptual, framework established during the
development of numerical control is still undergoing further refinement
and enhancement in today’s CAD/CAM technology.

Numerical control can be defined as a form of programmable

automation in which the process is controlled by numbers, letters and
symbols. In NC the numbers form a program of instructions designed
for a particular workparts or job.

NC technology has been applied to the wide variety of operations,

including drafting, assembly, inspection, sheet metal press working,
and spot welding. However, numerical control finds its principle
applications in metal machining processes. The machined work parts
are designed in various sizes and shapes, and most machined parts
that are produced in industry today are made in small to medium size


An operational numerical control system consists of the following three

basic components.
1. Program of instructions
2. Controller unit, also called a machine control Unit
3. Machine tool or other controlled process

The general relationship among the three components is illustrated in

figure. The program of instructions serves as the input to the controller
unit, which in turn commands the machine tool or the other process to
be controlled.

In NC system you need to write the part programs required to run the
machine tool manually. Programs are listing of codes in a proper
sequence that as instructions for the machine. The program of
instructions is the detailed step by step set of directions which tell the
machine tool what to do.

It is a multifunction machine which incorporates several time saving

features into a single piece of automated production equipment. All the
components are explained in detail below.

Part program Controller Machine Tool

NC system

1. Program of Instructions
The program of instructions is the detailed step by step set of
directions which tell the machine tool what to do. It is coded in
symbolic form on some type of input medium that can be interpreted
by the controller unit. The most common input medium today is 1 inch
wide punched tape. Over the years, other forms of input media have
been used, including punched cards, magnetic tapes, and even 35-mm
motion picture film.

2. Controller Unit
The second basic component of the NC system is the controller unit.
This consists of the electronics and hardware that read and interpret
the program of instructions and convert it into mechanical actions of
the machine tool. The typical elements of a conventional NC controller
unit include the tape reader, a data buffer, signal output channels to
the machine tool, feedback channels from the machine tool, and the
sequence control to co-ordinate the overall operation of the foregoing

Here, some systems are provided with Automatic Tool Changer so

there will be no operator required for changing the tools and the tool
changing time will also be reduced so the machining operation will be
performed fast.

3. Machine tool or other controlled process

The third basic component of an NC system is the machine tool or
other controlled process. It is the part of the NC system which
performs useful work. In the most common example of an NC system,
one designed to perform machining operations, the machine tool
consists of the work table and spindle as well as the motors and
controls necessary to drive them. It also includes the cutting tools,

work fixtures and other auxiliary equipment needed in the machining
In a CNC system, a dedicated computer is used to perform all basic NC
functions. Part program of CNC is similar to part program of an NC
system. This program is entered only once, and it serves as input for
the computer. The CNC systems have more computational capability,
more reliable and are flexible compared to NC system.

Part Computer Machine

program Tool

CNC System

A system in which the actions are controlled by direct insertion of
numerical data at some point. The system automatically interprets at
least some portion of this data.

The DNC system uses a central computer, which sends control signals
to number of local CNC machines. Program is stored in the memory of
host computer, when a machine tool needs control commands, host
computer instantaneously communicates with it and perform

CNC M/c.
Computer Tool

Host CNC M/c.

computer Computer Tool

Computer M/C.
DNC System


In conventional machines, after loading the work piece, you have to
manually operate different hand wheels to feed the cutting tool into
the work piece.


With a CNC system you can:
 Reduce non-production time
 Achieve manufacturing flexibility
 Increase in production rate
 Produce parts with complex shapes
 Improve quality
 Achieve good surface finish and accuracy



1. Single spindle drilling machine
2. Turning center or CNC lathe
3. Milling center
4. Machining center
5. CNC Non conventional machines (EDM, AJM etc.)


 Part program
 Computer
 Machine control unit (MCU)
 Processing machine

1. Part Program
Before making a part program, you need to understand the:
1. Given part drawing.
2. Different machining operations to be performed on
the job.
3. Sequence through which these operations are to be
4. Cutting conditions to be selected.

2. Machine Control Unit

It is a main part of CNC system. This unit interprets the program of
instructions and sends it to the next step in the process. All control
signals to the machine tool are generated here, based on the
instructions given in the part program. The MCU reads the part
program, and then sends the control signals to the control unit of the
machine tool in the form of electrical pulses. The drives in the machine

tool convert these electrical pulses into the equivalent mechanical

Control signals
(Interpretatio (Conversion)
n) Inform of ele. Pulses


3. Processing Machines
Processing machines are designed to execute the metal machining
work as per the signals received from MCU. Different types of
machines are developed for different operations. These include
conventional and non-conventional machine tools. Conventional
machine tool includes lathe, milling, drilling etc. non-conventional
machines are machines that uses non-conventional energy, such as
thermal energy, chemical energy etc. Examples are, Electro Chemical
Grinding (ECG), Electro Discharge Machining (EDM) etc.


Point to point machining
Continuous path machining



Open loop
Closed loop


Electrical devices
Hydraulic devices

 Electric devices use different type of motors such as stepper

motor or DC motor.
 Hydraulic devices use actuator and other set up.


 In CNC machine tools, the operations to be performed are

given in a coded form, which is known as part program.
 Manual part programming is a very tedious work. For manual
programming a programmer must have sufficient knowledge of
machining processes and part programming techniques.
 The programmer has to prepare a part program with a proper
sequence of operations and appropriate selection of cutting
parameters such as feed and speed.
 In such cases chances of committing errors are high while
developing a part program. There for the concept of computer
assisted part programming came into existence so,
computational errors are eliminated.
 Programming software does the calculations required to produce
the component and the programmer communicates with this
system, through the system language, which is based on English


 APT (Automatically programmed tools)

 ADAPT (Adaptation of APT)
 EXAPT (Extended subset of APT)

These languages are utilized as per type of machine, but APT is widely


An Automatic Tool Changer is equipment that reduces cycle times by

automatically changing tools between cuts. Automatic tool changers
are differentiated by tool-to-tool time and the number of tools they
can hold.

We have made the simplest model of an automatic tool changer. In

this model, there is scope of as many modifications as we want. By
more investment, it can be made more sophisticated as per our
requirement. For example, by using the disc instead of tool holder we
have used, more tools can be accommodated.

By using timers for operations, the time required for a particular

operation can be fixed and as per that time, the tool changing
procedure can be carried out.

So, in this way, more modifications can be done in the model we have



 Automation principles and strategies by Mikell Groover

 Production Technology Part II by O.P.Khanna
 Computer Aided design and manufacturing by Mikell P. Groover
& Emory W. Zimmers




 Electronics 4 you